I am attempting to set up an "interactive clip" tool that will allow the user to draw clip features on the fly and use those as the clip features in the Clip tool in the analysis toolbox. I have added the Clip tool to ModelBuilder and exposed the clip features as a model parameter. I also changed the type to a FeatureSet, which I understand is supposed to allow the user to interactively enter the features when the tool is opened within ArcMap.


However, when I open the tool in ArcMap, the Clip Features input does not allow the interactive drawing of features, but rather only allows the user to select an already existing feature class. ArcGIS help and the above link indicate that under this setup the FeatureSet should by default point to an in_memory location where the user can temporarily draw features.

Here's how I have it set up in ModelBuilder: tool interface

Here's the resulting tool interface: model builder

What am I missing here? Any ideas why this is not working as expected?

  • Would you be able to edit your Question to include a screenshot of your tool dialog, please?
    – PolyGeo
    Jan 7, 2014 at 1:28

2 Answers 2


Open your model and right-click on Clip Features to check its Properties.

On the Parameters tab, you should see

  1. Select Data Type set to Feature Set; and
  2. Schema imported from set to "a feature class, a layer file (.lyr) that references a feature class, or a layer in the ArcMap table of contents" (from Setting feature set and record set schema)

I suspect that you currently have Schema imported from left blank.


See the very last point here. You need to set a schema by right clicking the feature set variable, and pointing to a dataset (under the schema)


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